The cover is a photo of one of the altars that graced this year’s Spring Festival of Awareness, the last to be held in the Okanagan. Quan Yin, Buddha, crystals, flowers and rainbows created the overall theme. Each of the four directions had an altar with a nature angel painted on canvas over-lighting it that was painted by Nywyn, many years ago. Now these works of art will move to the Kootenays. I feel much gratitude for the generous, good-hearted people whose efforts have made these festivals possible. Many people set up the site, others decorated it, some helped with the Healing Oasis or the festival store. The Penticton venue turned out to be more work than expected with fewer people attending. The magic that Naramata provided no longer exists. My angel guidance said that I am complete with the Okanagan site, and I am glad.
Moving these events back to the Kootenays, where they originally started will allow more connection with Mother Nature. We have lots of space for campers plus accommodations for 30 people. It would be easy to have five workshops happening at one time if we used the tipi, the dome, the group room, lodge and sacred space. The teachers are so talented and the sharing heart-felt. “Amazing” is the only word to describe what happens at each and every festival.
I expect a full house for the Wise Women’s Festival, August 26-28. A Pre-event Opportunity will start on Thursday with a Sweat Lodge lead by Sunnaira and Marilyn Puff. Sunnaira has been the Healing Oasis coordinator for the past six years and Marilyn will lead the prayer and drum circle. Please see the back section of the magazine for the Wise Women’s schedule. Marilyn Puff is starting a Sacred Moon Festival next September near Kamloops. An article about her vision is on page 18. Chris Madsen, who organizes the Wellness Shows in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, told me he is planning a spiritual event at the ski hill near Vernon next summer. I am glad these two visionaries will network with like-minded souls.
Issues magazine grew out of my passion to connect and educate others about holistic and spiritual information. The festivals embody my hope for future generations. After 28 years, my ‘babies’ have grown up, astrologically speaking, so it seems fitting that both the magazine and the festivals are in flux. In astrology, Saturn returns to its original placement in one’s chart every 28 years. I will be happy to have less responsibility, fewer deadlines and more time in our garden, especially my strawberry and blueberry patches.
I know and have been told many times that Issues is a heart-centred magazine, it reflects what I consider important things to know, including the basics of understanding the bigger picture and keeping ourselves well. The winter edition will be online only, no driving around BC doing distribution in the snow. I will see if advertisers will support this newer style of communication. The magazine has had a web presence since June 22, 1999. How many of you have taken the time to read the online version? If you want to be on my reminder list, please go to the Issues website and add your name. You will be the first to know when my next Musing is ready to read.
I figure I must have the oldest blog around since I started in 1990. It is not the usual format where the latest blog is at the top. Instead, it starts with my original Musing, including the homesteading photo that I used for the front cover. Next spring, Issues will become a once-a-year print publication that comes out in March. It will still feature people who help us heal ourselves or events that help us to grow. The back section will feature the many programs, festivals and retreats that will happen at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center for the summer.
This last festival challenged my cooking skills and endurance. I did well and we served healthy, sustainable, mostly vegetarian food to 75 people who raved about the taste. The people who prepped said they learned lots and had fun. Spending the weekend in the kitchen was not what I wanted to do, but the chef quit on short notice so I filled in. Over the last 28 years, I have had three major change-overs of crew members and have learned that when one person leaves, another with even more talent appears, and thus the festival magic has continued for decades. I assume that someone who wants to cook will show up but a deeper hope of mine is that someone who wants to be part of our community will take over the organization of the festivals and the magazine, with assistance as needed.
I promised my body some time ago that once I reached 65 I would slow down and I have somewhat. Over the years, various Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors would say, “Angèle, your mind/will is stronger than your physical body and that causes the Yin to go out of balance.” Yin is the being-side and Yang is the doing-side of life. I like doing and trying new things even if I don’t know what I am doing. This pattern of choosing on-the-job-training is what got Issues magazine and the Spring Festivals happening in the first place, as I had limited organizing and promotional skills at the time.
Lately, this model of learning has created a garden with weeds taking over the now-fertile soil. I am developing a new method of farming that I call cardboard gardening. I use layers of cardboard to cover the weeds and feed my ever-growing team of earthworms. This idea started as a way to use the old magazines that were not picked up as I like to use the earth’s resources wisely. When I put the magazines under my strawberry plants it slowed down the weeds, I had many more worms and my strawberries were cleaner.
This fall, I will start pulling together the many personal stories I have shared that helped me to grow. The angel on the front cover last month is waiting in the ethers to guide me to my next level of learning. I am told I am to write a book. I do not consider myself a writer. I do have a great editor who has upgraded my communication skills so that I can now edit other people’s articles as I see those same errors in other people’s writings. In my world view, being coherent with writing is like being logical. As my brain shifts sides, I wonder if I will still hear my inner voices as easily as I used to.
My vision to create a Canadian version of Findhorn is still wanting to manifest. Community living is needed more than ever as the health of humans continues to disintegrate due to fast food and the over-use of chemicals and communication devices.
I appreciate the good life at the Retreat Center and it needs more hard-working and talented folks who want to live a simpler, less hectic life in the mountains. If this idea appeals to you, check out one of our events. Community living does help a person to grow.
Zachary Williams - 02/05/2023
Congratulations on completing your book.
Richard - 02/05/2023
Great to see your book is complete